Melissa Jones, Program Officer
Paul Francois, Mission 180 Lead Organizer
Paul Francois joins RCRF as the Lead Organiser for the Warren Street Corridor, Mission 180. Paul worked as the Resident Services Coordinator and Community Safety Organizer for Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation. In these capacities Paul provided job search, training, referrals, and housing services to residents acted as the liaison between the residents and the Management Company. In recent years he has concentrated his efforts on the Community Safety Initiative (CSI), sponsored by LISC, to contain the effects of foreclosure and prostitution in the Howard Dacia area, which was identified as one of the City of Boston’s Foreclosure Intervention Target (FIT) areas. Paul is fluent in French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.
“Being a lead organizer for MISSION 180 gives me the opportunity to work with other community leaders passionate about bringing positive change to the community and to improve the quality of life of people living along the Warren Street Corridor.”
Paul holds an M.S. in Social Work from Bridgewater State University, an M.A. in Urban Ministry from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Professional Certificate in Community Building & Organizing from NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute.
Jenna Tourje, Millennium Ten Lead Organizer
Jenna Tourje joins RCRF as the Lead Organizer for Codman Square/Four Corners, Millennium Ten. She comes with a rich background in community leadership having worked with southern California faith-based organization, Mika CDC, developing community leaders and ensuring residential ownership of processes in the community. Her strong passion for community engagement that came from working with Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities, an initiative of the California Endowment, and developing community-building strategies with Engineers Without Borders in rural Kenya.
“Being the lead organizer for the Millennium Ten Initiative allows me to not only engage residents in a large-scale community organizing effort, but to also see how collaboration between a variety of agencies and institutions can foster success. The Codman Square and Four Corners areas are so diverse and full of passionate people, I'm excited to see the direction that our process takes.”
Jenna holds a B.A. in International Studies and M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine.
Karleen Porcena, Mattapan United Lead Organizer.
Karleen Porcena joins the RCRF team as the Lead Organizer for Mattapan United. Her experience working for the ABCD Mattapan Family Service Center, most recently as Operations Manager, allowed her to “work in the community everyday and really see how just a little assistance can effect a family.” Karleen has studied governmental and international relations and also has international experience working with communities and families living in severe poverty where she found “the resiliency of people with very limited resources.” Porcena is thrilled to be applying her experiences with Mattapan United.
“I’m excited to work in Mattapan! I feel as though there is this new energy in the neighborhood and people have seen a lot of progress already starting with improvements to the new library, the new health center being built, new parks and now LISC and Mattapan United has the opportunity to continue the development of Mattapan. The residents in this neighborhood are welcoming, and know their history! There are so many unknown assets to Mattapan that people would be surprised to know.”
Karleen holds a B.A. in Governmental and International Relations, with a concentration in Comparative Politics. She is currently attending graduate school at Suffolk University for a certificate in Non-Profit Management.